Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Overton

We have known him from his infancy.

State of North Carolina, Pasquotank County   } Personally Came before me Abraham Symons one of the Justices of the peace for said county Noah Hollowell and William Pow who testifiath that James Overton of Color is a free man having known him from his infancy and also knowing his parents were free previous agreeably to the Constitution of the State Witness my hand and Seal this 23rd day of October 1830.   /s/ A. Symons JP

[In a different handwriting] Jane Parthenia Overton, 5 feet 4 of a Light Black Forty years of age, has a Scar on the left Shoulder Dianna, Simeon, George

Slave Records, Pasquotank County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1830 census of Pasquotank County, James Overton was head of a household that included one male under 10; one male aged 24-35; two females aged 10-23; and one female aged 24-35.

In the 1850 census of Pasquotank County: Simeon Overton, 35, laborer, wife Elizabeth, 30, and children Daniel, 10, Josephine, 6, and Emily, 4.

First patrolman of his race.

Wiley G. Overton.

The First Full Fledged Patrolman of His Race Appointed on Brooklyn’s Police Force.

Wiley Granda Overton is a successful undertaker, whom Commissioner Hayden has appointed as patrolman and assigned to the First Precinct, in the most popular and business part of Brooklyn, under Capt. Campbell. Mr. Overton is originally from North Carolina. He was born in Elizabeth City, Oct. 20, 1859, of free parentage. He spent his early days attending school, until his graduation from the normal school. While yet quite a young man he passed a good examination before the county commissioners and obtained a position as a teacher in the public schools. With his parents he came North fourteen years ago and settled in Brooklyn. Through his energy and push he was not long in obtaining a good situation [illegible] wholesale firm in New York City [illegible] Taylor & Co. Entering as a porter he rose to the important position of stock clerk, which he held for seven years. While in this position he spend all of his leisure moments in private study and improved his education. After leaving his New York situation he engaged with a well known undertaker, Moses Genung, and after sufficient training he started out in business for himself at 75 Lawrence street. His business has grown rapidly, and he will turn it over to his cousin, R.D. Overton.

Immediately after his business venture, it came to his mind that he would like to become one of the guardians of the city and he entered the civil service examinations …. He attained 76 ½ percentage, standing 58 on a list of 164 eligibles. It was thought that Mr. Overton’s color would be a barrier to his appointment …. Commissioner Hayden, however, … said: “He passed a good examination, and, as the law makes no distinction in regard to color, I do not see why there should be any question as to my duty in the matter.”

Mr. Overton is nearly six feet high, of fine athletic build and of dark complexion. He has been assigned to Post 5 of the First Precinct, bounded by Pierpont, Joralemon, and Clinton streets and Columbia Heights. … Mr. Overton is a devoted member of Bridge Street A.M.E Church and has been been a member of the Trustee Board for several years. He has a charming wife and two beautiful daughters to cheer him at his fireside.

In the 1860 census of Pasquotank County: Jeffry Overton, 62, farmer, Juley, 31, Jeffry, 29, Haywood, 18, Ruben, 10, Margaret, 9, Mary, 6, John, 4, George, 2, and Wiley, 8 months.

The New York Age, 21 March 1891.

Too infirm to support himself and family by his labour.

Original Claim

State of North Carolina, District of Edenton, County of Pasquotank.  On this 8th day of March 1825 personally appeared in open Court being a Court of record for Pasquotank Samuel Overton a free man of Colour, resident in said County aged [illegible] six Years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration In order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1815 and the first May 1820.  That the said Samuel Overton enlisted for the term of three Years in the Year 1776 in the State of North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain Isaac Moore, in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Peter Lange in the line of the State of North Carolina, on  the continental establishment, that he continued to serve in said Corps until the death of Captain Moore, when a certain Devisha[?] Davis commanded that he continued in the Service of the United States until the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, when he was discharged in the City of Philadelphia in the Year 1781, that he was at the battles of Germantown, Charlestown S.C. and at the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, and at the Battle of Germantown received two wounds. That he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension, except this present, that his name is not on the roll od any State, and that the following are the reasons for not making earlier application for a pension. That as long as he was able he was desirous to maintain himself; but now he is to infirm to support himself and family by his labour, and in addition had the misfortune to lose all his property by fire in July 1824.  And in pursuance of the act of the first May 1820 I do solemnly swear, that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof, with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War” passed on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person in Trust for me, any property or securities, contract or debts, due to me, nor have I any income, other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and my be subscribed To wit one Cow and two shoats. That since the 18th of March the change in my property has been its loss by fire in July 1824.  My family consist of my wife and Son David five years old        Samuel X Overton

From the file of Samuel Overton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.